I’d intended to start off February with a bangin’ blog post. Something funny, inspiring, and gut-churningly honest.
Instead, I spend the day feeling fragile. February is never a mixed bag for me. It has always been awful. The dark and gray skies supercharges the seasonal affective disorder that occasionally kicks my ass, and kicks the ass of most of my favorite people. That pervasive winter blah translates to a lot of lonely time that, by the time my birthday rolls around on the 10th, I have never hated anything so much as this month. It’s an awful one, and I’d love to see it wiped off the calendar.
So with that opinion of February, waking up to an eggshell fragility is not unheard of. I spent the day being very quiet. I read. I made lists. I avoided the harsh glow of my laptop screen to the best of my ability. I thought I’d had this day kicked.
But then I picked my son up from school. He walks out to the car, slowly, head down. He climbs in the backseat, and as he buckles the belt, he begins to sob. He got a yellow rectangle (green is the best, yellow’s in the middle, orange is bad, red is a conference). It’s a demerit for not staying on task. My son, with his hearing impairment and sensory processing dysfunction, has a hard time staying on task. I’m not shocked. How can you pay attention when your body feels restless and the hearing aids make all the sounds of a busy 3rd grade classroom almost unbearable? I try to tell him this doesn’t make him bad. That he’s a good kid. A smart kid. And he cries until I cry. He’s so sensitive to criticism. To helplessness. Just like me.
I tell him we’ll try to figure out something else. That it won’t be this hard forever. But after talking to his teacher on the phone tonight, and hearing in her voice how she just doesn’t believe that the hearing aids don’t fix everything. That she believes he isn’t trying because he doesn’t want to … I tell him it won’t be hard forever.
But on this gray day at the beginning of February, I honestly don’t know if I’m telling him the truth.